My cool bro being in town and thus easily accessible to me is the great christmas gift of all. He is a delight and a dear, always funny, always amiable, always full of weird thoughts. It is so nice to be around someone who is basically just you, if you were a different person, if that makes sense. We’re always breaking into song together without thinking about it. We are an unstoppable team at the game Taboo. It is nice to be close friends with your sibling. Last night he stayed at our house and we played Super Mario 3. I was firmly humiliated–I had forgotten how much he rules at that game. My old man said “I want to watch you two play this game because she [rudely indicating me with his thumb] really prides herself on being good at it.” I so wanted to prove him wrong, since proving people wrong is basically my favorite thing to do. Alas, I failed, for my brother truly kicks ass. We were howling with laughter. He hasn’t played it in 20 years but he was still engaging in all the idiosyncrasies I remember infuriating me during our childhood, like obsessively getting every coin, or obsessively spending many minutes trying to fly while simultaneously ducking, or there’s this part in world 8 where there are these things that spin around and he has to stop and stand on each of them for no reason. I guess that’s how you get the big bucks. When we’d play Ice Hockey he used to get the puck and then just skate around the perimeter of the rink over and over again until I was literally shrieking with rage and our mom would have to make us turn it off.
We were reminiscing about trying to hone our Nintendo skills in our weird childhood home that had such a strange situation w/r/t electricity. The house was solar powered but we had to use a generator if we wanted to do the laundry (by “we” I unfortunately just mean “my mom”). So my mom would turn on the generator and start doing laundry, and we’d get two hours into SM3 and then my mom would need to turn off the generator, thus briefly cutting power, and she would yell “find a stopping-place, kiddies!” <--always that exact phrase, in a tone I can still hear in my head. And my brother and I would be devastated as only sheltered privileged children with no problems can be by the loss of an unusually promising video game round. "MOM! You can't STOP! It's not ZELDA!!! GOD!!!!!!!!" Anyway, he's a great guy. Now my mother in law is coming to town. We have it all planned out. It still seems funny to have a "mother in law." Is she really my mother, in the eyes of the law? I don't think that's true. We went to see the Cirque du Soleil movie yesterday (I am very impressed by the filmmakers' ability to make such acts of physical extremity so enervatingly boring to watch). It was the 2:10 showing, the theater was sold out, and everyone was just slamming white wine. And to all a good night!